By Leopold Munhende l Chief Correspondent
AN angry listener told off Zanu PF Information Director, Tafadzwa Mugwadi and Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) party president, Linda Masarira, who were blaming sanctions for the country’s economic decay during an interview on State-owned Star FM’s Muriro On Monday show.
The two were panelists, who included economist Gift Mugano, invited to discuss whether Zimbabwe had capacity to speak with one voice over the contentious matter.
The unidentified listener, who dropped his call before sharing his name and location as was asked by host Linda Muriro, asked how those complaining about sanctions could still afford top-of-the-range vehicles despite the restrictions, further arguing they even had money to buy the same cars for their marauding youths.
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“I have a problem with these people who are saying sanctions, sanctions, sanctions. Sanctions are not even affecting us, but corruption is the main problem affecting us. If you are to see vehicles being used by these people you will be amazed,” said the caller.
“They would not buy those vehicles if they were being affected by sanctions, yet they buy the most expensive vehicles even for their own youths.”
In 2019, ruling Zanu PF set aside US$15 million to import off roaders for its officials in the Central Committee, with more expected to be bought ahead of next year’s polls.
The party bought 4×4 Isuzu, Ford Ranger and VW Amarok vehicles for officials, who include its 210 parliamentary candidates, district chairpersons, women’s and youth leagues’ chairpersons.
Sanctions discussions have been centred on whether they were targeted or not, whether they have affected the people of Zimbabwe and if they have affected its economic prospects worse than corruption.
Masarira said sanctioned countries were fertile ground for corruption, blaming the restrictions for the ill.
“There is unfettered corruption in a country that has illegal sanctions imposed on it and that is not a secret, it is an ideal breeding ground,” said Masarira.
“We cannot deny that corruption is rampant in Zimbabwe because it is, but we cannot also undertone the effect and impact of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“The problem we have is that some political parties in Zimbabwe have chosen to focus solely on corruption because they know that if people know about effects of sanctions on their livelihoods, they will lose the protest vote that they are positioning themselves for.”